‘Why are you all dolled up?’ asked my husband as I told him I was going out.
My immediate reaction was to reply ‘No, I’m not! I can change to dolled up if you like!’ Yes, I can be feisty but I said nothing and went out.
Later, when alone, I thought more about it.
Part of dressing is knowing and accepting who you are and being able to stand in your power around others. It is also about understanding where others are coming from when they comment about how you are dressed.
Dressing for all of us is more emotional than we think it is.
To dress as ourselves combine our colouring, our personality, our Introvert or Extrovert tendencies and express this with modern dressing skills.
Have you ever had your colours done and the Image Consultant talked about your Contrast Level? Understanding these 3 levels (low, medium and high) and how your personality interacts with these is important to the question above.
We all have a base level which is our comfortable basic dressing. Then we have a ‘shine’ or ‘wow’ level and lastly we have a ‘pretending to be someone else’ level.
These are not the same for everyone.
For those of you with a softer or blended colouring your Base Level is Low Contrast. You like wearing tops and bottoms that are very similar in colour and shade. Most of you tend towards being an Introvert.
For those of you with a stronger or clearer colouring your base level is Medium Contrast and you like wearing clothes where you can definitely see the difference between the colours you are wearing. Most of you tend towards being an Extrovert.
For softer personalities, it is Medium Contrast where you wear some of your best colours in their richest shades. For the more outgoing it is High Contrast where you wear your best colours in their strongest or brightest shades. All of you ‘shine’ or have that ‘wow’ factor when you add your understanding of all the three sides to your personality and then dress to your Introvert or Extrovert level of these sides.
Being ‘Someone Else’ Level
This is the place where you either shrink from criticism or pretend to be someone that you think others expect you to be.
Those with softer colouring can go to the High Contrast Level and strong red because that is what you think a leader/speaker/manager ‘should’ be. Those with stronger colouring may dress in dark Low Contrast colours as you think this is the way to appear less overpowering to people.
Hiding in either of these ways leaves you feeling frustrated that others do not know you or do not want to know the ‘real’ you.
What is the Answer
The first thing is to realise that the other person whether they know their preferred Base and Shine Level or not, are talking to you from their levels not yours. ‘Why are you dolled up?’ is the soft person seeing your Base Medium Level as their Shine Level. ‘Why are you so dull?’ is the outgoing person seeing your Base Low Level as their ‘hiding’ Level. It is not a judgment or criticism. It is an unconscious revealing of who they are.
I could have reacted angrily to that question. Instead I took the opportunity to understand myself and pass it on to you.
The more you understand yourself, the more you will dress only in your Base and Shine Levels. Then you can stand in your power and quietly and simply state who you really are.
Remember ‘Individuality adds vibrancy to life.’
(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 8 March 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)